BBC: One in three UK nurses suffers violence each year
November 27, 2004 -- Today the BBC's UK edition posted an unsigned story about a recent study finding that one in three UK nurses experiences "some form of physical attack" each year, and that many others suffer verbal abuse. The study, based on a University of Nottingham survey of 202 nurses, also found that nurses were not given adequate support in dealing with violent patients.
The new study, by the university's Institute of Work, Health and Organisations, reportedly found that the National Health Service expected nurses to keep a "stiff upper lip" about such difficult situations, but that this led to serious problems. Nurses who "bottled up anger triggered by a violent incident at work were more likely to become nervous, worn out and depressed." The study stressed that such nurses could not give adequate care to patients, and that nurses needed people to talk to about their experiences of abuse. The Royal College of Nursing's head of counselling was quoted as saying that more needed to be done to keep nurses safe. He also reportedly stated that "[v]iolence against nurses has an immediate impact on the delivery of quality care, and can have long-term implications on a nurse's physical and psychological health." The article might have described any specific proposals to improve workplace safety for UK nurses made by the study authors or others. The piece did note that the NHS has just launched a campaign to reduce violence against its health professionals, which reportedly costs it about 69 million pounds per year.
See the BBC's November 27, 2004 article Nurses 'need help over violence'